The Oakland Athletics head into AT&T Park Friday night to open their first interleague series of the 2011 season against the San Francisco Giants. One of the highlights (or lowlights depending on who you ask) is seeing American League pitchers attempt to swing the bat in National League ballparks. If a man is on base and there is less than two outs, odds are high that you’ll see a bunt.
Tonight, the A’s send out ace Trevor Cahill to face the Giants and he’ll get a few chances to stand in and face Ryan Vogelsong. The A’s have decided to sit Hideki Matsui to start this interleague series. A’s manager Bob Geren has indicated it is unlikely Matsui will play in the outfield this weekend. He will be available in pinch hit duty if needed late in the games.
Otherwise the A’s lineup does not see any significant changes as they look to find some level of consistency. They’ll be facing a very strong Giants pitching staff, which could mean a lot of scratching and clawing for runs. The A’s may play in the American League, but NL style bunting and hit-and-runs might be the only way they can get some runs against the Giants.